Get paid to help other people
Suppose you are really good at your hobby and you want to help others and potentially earn money for doing so. Or, maybe you are a retired teacher with a wealth of knowledge and a desire to make some extra cash. What can you do? Well, amazingly, there is a business model for you – answering online questions for money. On top of generating income, it can also serve to help you build a reputation as an expert in your chosen field, which in the long-term can aid you with your career progression and other opportunities.
You might be surprised to learn that people pay very well to have their questions answered or get advice on something they are struggling with. If you think about it, it really makes sense. For example, if you could get some online advice for £10 on how to fix your car, then it would save you considerable money if the alternative were to take it to a garage for a check-up and pay upwards of £100 for the same answer.
Although answering questions is not the first idea many people have as they seek new moneymaking ventures, you would be surprised how many people are willing to pay you for your time and expertise. There could be a client looking for some brief legal advice who does not want to pay for a full consultation. That is where you step in with your legal knowledge. On the other hand, maybe a client has a small concern about maintaining their property, which requires an expert opinion. Again, here is where your knowledge can come to the rescue.
Q&A websites that pay for your knowledge
Some of the biggest Q&A websites have been going for a few years now, and they have extremely simple to use interfaces, with hundreds of experts on hand to provide answers to any question imaginable. Below are some of the sites that have proven to be very popular:
- JustAnswer – With over 20 million users, JustAnswer is a great place to get paid for your expertise. Basically, you answer questions and if the customer accepts your answer, then they will pay for it and the money will be deposited to your JustAnswer account. Once you have reached the threshold, you can cash out via PayPal. The great thing about JustAnswer is that they offer the customer unlimited back-and-forth questions until they are satisfied with the answer, and they also offer free second opinions if the customer isn’t sure about what they have been told.
- Experts 123 – This is a smaller site, but it still offers financial rewards for your knowledge. You are given assignments to complete and are paid according to each assignment, and they list experts under categories from beauty to cooking to health and technology. You can even earn additional money for each detailed answer (350-600 word article) if you write articles that are labelled as ‘Work for Hire’ status.
- Chegg – This is a great site where you get to provide answers to students who need help about a variety of subjects, and earn money whilst doing so. Chegg boasts of top tutors earning £1000+ per month and they aim to supply tutors in any virtually subject, although you can choose to answer questions in any subject you feel comfortable with. You will receive 80% commission and pay is via PayPal. The great thing about helping students is that you will get real satisfaction from the fact that you are helping a young person improve their life.
- PrestoExpert – PrestoExpert gives you the chance to engage with clients via online chat, phone or email and work on a wide range of topics such as education, technology, health, social media and business. Among their accomplishments is a list of over 600 Q&A categories and over 1.5 million ratings and reviews. All the client has to do is log in, select a category and ask their question. PrestoExpert will then request an answer from an expert at any time of the day, 24/7.
With all these sites, you really have to be knowledgeable in your field in order to obtain repeat work. Unfortunately in the past, there have been unscrupulous ‘experts’ that have either had zero, or very little knowledge on any particular subject who have then gone on to answer questions for clients, with very disappointing results. This is both frustrating for the client and for the Q&A service, hence they have now introduced feedback questionnaires and ratings systems for each expert. The result of this is that if you fail to maintain good feedback you will find that either work dries up or you are disqualified from using the service in the future.
Tips for becoming a Q&A master
However, for any expert, and especially those in the fields of medicine and web development, online Q&A websites can be a great way of earning some extra cash from home. The following are some ideas that will serve to help you to be successful at generating an income from answering questions:
1. Your profile is your personal brochure; The web site you have selected to answer questions on will most likely require you to prepare a profile. However, take the time to make your profile first class, as it is actually your marketing brochure. It should be able to convince people to offer you money for answering their question and also instil a sense of trust in them. Ensure that you include your areas of expertise using regular catchphrases so people can look for you with a search engine using the keywords they are familiar with.
2. Do not be greedy; While it can be tempting to specify a higher fee for answering questions, it might not be appropriate, most certainly not until you have built up a level of authority. So try to determine if you can form a pricing strategy that creates short-term volume for you to develop a positive reputation, and then maybe increase your pricing rate further down the road for increased earnings per question.
3. Prove that you know what you claim to know; To prove that you are an authority in your field, you should create some blog posts about your area of expertise. You can either publish them on the internet site in which you are answering questions, or on a relevant blog you might already own. Make certain to link your blog site to the question site to drive further traffic towards you, although a number of question sites have specific plugins for that.
4. Drive traffic; Driving web traffic to your page on the question site is a great way to enhance your prospects. That means you should include the link to your page on the question site in as many online spots as you can, including your Facebook and twitter profiles, and even your email signatures. You might also want to steer traffic to your articles by linking to them from online forums around the web. If you have previous experience in driving traffic to a blog then you can use the same principles to get more viewers to your Q&A page.
5. Do not hasten your responses; Though you ought to usually aim to respond to arriving questions within 1 day, it is vital to consider that rushing through your list of questions inevitably undermines the quality of your responses. This in turn leads to wasted prospects because a damaging review can really set back your record of accomplishments and therefore your chances to answer further questions. So, research your answer, stick to the theme of the question, and answer with no buzzwords. Presume the client is brand new to the matter unless they have already revealed they have some prior knowledge.
It is obvious that the internet has opened up yet another avenue for anyone with a wealth of knowledge to make money from, and answering questions online can provide a significant boost to the rest of your online endeavours. The power of the internet means that this business plan has virtually unlimited scale and you could potentially reach clients from all over the world with your know-how and experience. All you need is your computer, an internet connection, and of course your brain!